Cultivating the Infrastructure Workforce in the Nation’s Capital

Cultivating the Infrastructure Workforce in the Nation’s Capital

August 27, 2019  | ENO CENTER FOR TRANSPORTATION

Under the leadership of Mayor Muriel Bowser, The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is working to bring Washington DC’s roadways, alleys, and sidewalks to a state of good repair over the next five years. By 2024, we will have replaced our structurally deficient bridges, paved hundreds of miles of roadway, and deployed green infrastructure across our city. At the same time, DDOT is also currently working on strategically updating our street sign and pavement marking inventory as a part of Mayor Bowser’s Vision Zero Initiative.

As we continue this hard work of rebuilding and updating our infrastructure, we also work in support of the Mayor’s vision of making prosperity more inclusive and ensuring that Washingtonians are able to take advantage of job opportunities in the transportation sector. That’s why Mayor Bowser created the DC Infrastructure Academy in 2018. The Academy provides residents with training opportunities in various segments of the infrastructure industry where participants can also earn their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), enroll in automotive technician training, and learn other specialized fields.

Earlier this spring, the District’s Department of Employment Services (DOES) and DDOT launched the Street Sign Installer Workforce Training Program in conjunction with the Infrastructure Academy. This pilot program provides both classroom and on-the-job training for District residents with a career interest in transportation. The 12-month training program includes two weeks of required classroom instruction at the DC Infrastructure Academy, preparing participants for entry-level transportation positions. Trainees then receive six weeks of on-the-job training with DDOT’s Street Sign Installation unit, earning a wage of $16.10 per hour. Upon completion of the program, participants will gain hands-on experience in sign installation and earn certifications in Flagger and OSHA-10 Construction Safety. Trainees who have completed the program also will have the opportunity to compete for employment opportunities at DDOT. The 12-month program began April 1, 2019, with six District residents enrolled in the first cohort.

The pilot program is a great example of the kind of specialized training and workforce development being provided through the DC Infrastructure Academy. The Street Sign Installer Workforce Training Program will equip DC residents with the skills and knowledge they need to fill critical positions. Now, four months into the program, our sign installer trainees have completed their classroom courses and safety training and are working across all eight wards of the District as a part of the initiative to repair or replace roadway signage.

We strive daily to deliver on our mission to enhance the quality of life for District residents and visitors by ensuring that people, goods, and information move efficiently and safely with minimal adverse impact on residents and the environment.  Our workforce is integral to our success as we work to deliver on that commitment. DDOT will continue to partner with the DC Infrastructure Academy to expand our workforce and ensure that we are well prepared to meet the daily demands of building and maintaining our transportation system.


Jeff Marootian is the Director of the District Department of Transportation where he leads the 1100-employee agency in its mission to create a safe and sustainable transportation system for the District of Columbia. Jeff is responsible for delivering on Mayor Muriel Bowser’s priorities to rebuild and modernize the city’s public infrastructure; embrace innovation and technology to increase mobility options, and reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries through a concerted Vision Zero strategy. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the Northeast Corridor Commission and the Intelligent Transportation Society of America.

Jeff Marootian photo

Share

Related Articles

How Can New Transit Environmental Review Approaches Help Address Climate Concerns?

How Can New Transit Environmental Review Approaches Help Address Climate Concerns?

This article is focused on aspects of Eno's latest report: Saving Time and Making Cents: A Blueprint for Building Transit Better. For...

Lawmakers vow action after Ida floods Gulf Coast, Northeast

Lawmakers vow action after Ida floods Gulf Coast, Northeast

But the bipartisan bill will be valuable in providing major investments in “future-proofing” infrastructure against climate change...

A big bet on Amtrak

A big bet on Amtrak

That's "way more than any other" transportation secretary has ever been given, said Jeff Davis of the Eno Center for...

The Infrastructure Bill's Twin 2027 Problems

The Infrastructure Bill's Twin 2027 Problems

As of this writing, it appears likely that the bipartisan infrastructure bill will be the law of the land by October 1 and will...

House Passes Budget, Sets Sept. 27 As Passage Deadline for Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

House Passes Budget, Sets Sept. 27 As Passage Deadline for Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

By a perfectly attended party-line vote of 220 to 212, the House of Representatives has adopted a special rule (H. Res. 601) that...

Three things the infrastructure plan missed

Three things the infrastructure plan missed

It does include reauthorization of the HTF and a $118 billion bailout from the Treasury’s general fund to meet the needs of the...

Senate BIB Funding Totals - Combined Trust Fund and General Fund

Senate BIB Funding Totals - Combined Trust Fund and General Fund

The Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill provides $454.2 billion in guaranteed funding over five years for the "traditional"...

Monday Night Showdown Set for Budget, Infrastructure Bill Votes in House

Monday Night Showdown Set for Budget, Infrastructure Bill Votes in House

House Democratic leaders are facing a showdown with their members on Monday. At issue is whether or not Democrats can get 215 of their...

DeFazio looks to try again on his progressive transportation agenda

DeFazio looks to try again on his progressive transportation agenda

But Jeff Davis of the Eno Center said the Byrd rule will also require that every dime of the committee’s $60 billion be spent by...

Will the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Breach the Debt Ceiling?

Will the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill Breach the Debt Ceiling?

What does the debt ceiling have to do with bailing out the Highway Trust Fund? Quite a lot, actually. Section 80103 of the...

The perverse reason it's easier to build new highways than new subways

The perverse reason it's easier to build new highways than new subways

“A transit agency is designed to operate transit, not build transit projects,” said Paul Lewis, the Eno Center’s director of policy....

The infrastructure bill is more about maintaining train service than upgrading it

The infrastructure bill is more about maintaining train service than upgrading it

"Amtrak was set up to fail," Robert Puentes, CEO of the Eno Center for Transportation told CNN Business. "It wasn't designed to last as...

Be Part of the Conversation
Sign up to receive news, events, publications, and course notifications.
No thanks